Fast Tip Friday: Filing in a Flash

This is a work-related post which is extra-sweet specifically because I am not at work today – I’m watching the Blue Jays hopefully kick some butt on their final home stand of the regular season. I was going to make this for my messy partner at work while I was decorating his office but he’s leaving us (tragedy!) so I’m making it for myself. I work in a mostly paperless office but sometimes you need to print things out to use them for reference (like phone lists) or a client still insists on seeing a hard copy of something or another. So I don’t need a whole filing cabinet, or even a drawer (I DO have a filing drawer, but currently it is filled with snacks). I just need a few files, preferably some place I can reach them on my way out the door. For this you just need some file folders (any size, any colour) and some tape (I have here washi tape for the decorative parts and double-sided tape for the sticking-things-together parts). Maybe a ruler if you feel like being measure-y.

Filing on the Wall 1

My office actually uses these pretty blue and teal files for storage so they were on hand, and I simply arranged them in a pattern and orientation that I found pleasing (Chel I can see you making use of a nice rainbow one someday).

Filing on the Wall 2

I measured and marked them (okay, so you need a pencil too) so they’d be evenly spaced.

Filing on the Wall 3

Then I used copious amounts of double-sided tape on the back to stick all the folders together.

Filing on the Wall 4

Now I need to do something about the open flappy sides. I was originally going to poke holes and kind of lace them together but I decided that was too much effort for work decor.

Filing on the Wall 5

Washi tape to the rescue! I love it because it’s so light and comes in millions of colours. Thanks Japan for yet again making functional things pretty as well.

Filing on the Wall 6

I did a couple of layers for security.

Filing on the Wall 7

All ready for the bus ride to work!

Filing on the Wall 8

I used 3M command strips to stick it to the wall next to my door. It works great!

Filing on the Wall 11

Fold ‘Em to the Wall

Fold 'em to the Wall 16

I’m redecorating my office at work so it less resembles a prison cell and more resembles a place where I spend the majority of my non-traveling time. I’ll show you the big before-and-after when I’m completely done but until then I’ll keep you updated on the cheap and easy things I’ve done in order to make the room a little bit more ME.

Fold 'em to the Wall 7

Here’s the first one. For this you need some origami paper, some tape (I used double-sided tape), some foam board (or poster board), a bone folder (optional), a pencil, and a ruler. I used some large scale origami with plain colours, but this would easily work on a smaller scale with the tiny pieces of patterned paper on a smaller board.

Fold 'em to the Wall 2

I started by matching up two sides of the sheet of origami and gently pinching the outside edge of the fold, just so I could see where the centre was.

Fold 'em to the Wall 3

Then I did that in the other direction.

Fold 'em to the Wall 4

Using those markers as guidelines, I folded each corner of the paper into the centre of the page. It doesn’t have to be perfect; I think it looks a little better when it’s all irregular.

Fold 'em to the Wall 5

I did that with every colour I had, one each, for 20 squares total. You can obviously do as many as you like.

Fold 'em to the Wall 8

Then I did some figuring to sort out how I wanted them to look and where I wanted them to be.

Fold 'em to the Wall 9

I had to do some math to figure out how they were going to fit on the foam board I had.

Fold 'em to the Wall 10

In actual fact they were going to fit across two boards. So the pieces that fit across this divide between the two I was going to leave off until I’d mounted the boards on the wall. That seemed easiest.

Fold 'em to the Wall 11

I decided it looked best if I had them in touching columns with a bit of space in between. I measured carefully to make sure they were evenly spaced and made pencil marks to show me where to stick things.

Fold 'em to the Wall 12

Then it was just a matter of applying some tape. And some dog hair. But that goes without saying.

Fold 'em to the Wall 14

Here it is, on my ugly green office wall (not to be confused with my ugly white office wall and my two ugly red office walls).

Fold 'em to the Wall 15

It’s already become a conversation piece. My team leader calls them “Grumpy Envelopes” and enjoys putting her tiny elf-like fists in the folds.

Fold 'em to the Wall 18

Art with Glue and Shoe Polish

Foil Glue Shoe Polish 23

I have been wanting to try this for YEARS, ever since I saw it on Make It … a Wonderful Life.  I don’t exactly know why it is that I haven’t made any yet — but now is my chance.  With the new place we have an excess of blank wall space and the Pie and I were both raised to believe that a) if you can see the colour of your walls you don’t have enough art on them; and b) there is no such thing as “enough” art.

Foil Glue Shoe Polish 10

In our lower bathroom we have kind of an avian theme going on, so I thought I’d continue it while trying out this nifty craft.  Make It … designed it to be a craft for school kids to learn different techniques, but I’ve taken out a few steps for us silly adults who have trouble following instructions.

Foil Glue Shoe Polish 26

Start with a piece of cardboard the size and shape you want your finished piece to be.  Draw a simple design onto the cardboard with a pencil or marker, and by simple I mean really simple.  Big lines and grand shapes only.  You can get fancy and detailed later.  Now trace those lines with Tacky Glue.

Foil Glue Shoe Polish 1

I actually prefer the brand name glue for this, as it’s the only white glue I can find that dries in the same thick lines in which  you lay it down.

Foil Glue Shoe Polish 2

Anyway, once you’ve got all the lines traced, and filled in everything you want to, set that somewhere to dry completely, probably overnight.

Foil Glue Shoe Polish 3

Foil Glue Shoe Polish 4

When it’s all ready to go, grab a piece of aluminum foil just slightly larger than the piece of cardboard and cover one side (shiny or dull, it’s your choice) with a glue stick (you have to use a glue stick or it will show through the foil).

Foil Glue Shoe Polish 7

Be generous with the glue stick, and go over the foil a couple times with it.  On my first one I didn’t use enough and had trouble sticking it down.

Foil Glue Shoe Polish 8

Press the foil, glue side down, over your design.  It’s best to start from the centre and work your way out.  Press the foil against the glue lines.  You can rub them in gently with a paper towel wrapped over your finger and use a cotton swab to gently press the foil close against the glue lines so everything is tight.

Foil Glue Shoe Polish 17

You may get rips, just because the foil is too tight.  But don’t fret — they’ll be camouflaged later.

Foil Glue Shoe Polish 9

Now, if you like, you can take a dull pencil and start drawing in patterns in the blank spaces between the glue lines.

Foil Glue Shoe Polish 11

When you’ve decorated to your liking, take some black shoe polish and give the whole thing a once-over, getting the polish into all those little lines you made.

Foil Glue Shoe Polish 13

Make It … recommends the sponge-applicator shoe polish for ease of use, so that’s what I did.

Foil Glue Shoe Polish 12

Leave it for a moment and then gently buff it off with paper towel.

Foil Glue Shoe Polish 14

It leaves a lovely silvery patina and makes the whole thing look really cool.

Foil Glue Shoe Polish 21

Foil Glue Shoe Polish 22

I stuck these to the boring bathroom cabinet to jazz things up a bit.

Foil Glue Shoe Polish 30